Gopher Volleyball 2022 Season

Hrothgar

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It's been the same story for a few years now; these players don't fight and roll over on a regular basis. And it appears Hugh has done very little to address it. This group has consistently mailed in long stretches of matches every year since 2020 and nothing is changing. Just the way this group is: They don't compete hard. Just the way it is. Adjust your expectations accordingly because this is what they are.
I agree. To and including 2019, Gophers teams played with verve and determination. 2020 & 2021 they hung in there by Samedy's shoestrings. She took over some matches and carried the team. She's gone....
 

4EverAGopher

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I've tried participating in discussion on the Softball thread along with the Volleyball thread each season. I am slowly coming to the conclusion we are witnessing the IN AND OUT MINDSET THE ATHLETE in today's sports are dealing with.

I have had some thoughts on "Sports Pyschology" and was reminded in past threads that the student/athlete today can be the smartest in the room one day and totally the opposite the next day. Landfair to me is a perfect example of a player who plays like this....anybody watching these matches can see she will have brilliant to airhead moments on the court.

We look unstoppable on paper. However, I have concluded there are some starters on this team going through personal up and down moments affecting their play in a match. And there are some, unfortunately, who have peaked and will not improve much more. I'm afraid we will continue to witness this type of play from the starters on this Gopher team. Sure hope I am wrong post season.
 
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Ewert86PC

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Why does every promising Gopher sports team flip flop and become inconsistently scared of achieving greatness? Why can't we have nice things?
 



banababoat73

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Sure, there are a lot of good coaches and all the teams are trying to win. But in this match, do you think the Gophers had the better talent -- even far better talent -- and, if so, doesn't it make sense to try to figure out why they lost a home-court match to a team that didn't win a set in two previous Big Ten matches? I think that makes sense. If it's just "everyone's trying to win," it seems to be a 50-50 shot, and we should be satisfied if the Gophers win half the time and lose half the time.
Because Hugh was an Olympic coach, top VB players will want to play here. Wucherer and Landfair were the #1 ranked playerss in their class, Shaffmaster was the #1 setter in her class, 2020 class was #1 in the country....yet the get beat by NU and Pepperdine with all-conference HS players. The Gophers win because of their talent on the court, not on Hugh's coaching.
Another Hugh snafu was when he would not give Lauren Barnes a scholarship when she was as good as CC. Instead, Hugh gives it to Kilkelly. Barnes gets an NCAA Championship at whiskeyconsin and is a 2 Time AVCA All American.
 


Hrothgar

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Because the pros says we can't.
Re what Ewert asks, the only way to achieve team greatness IMHO is by having at least one supremely talented superstar who's supported by extremely gifted teammates, all of whom perform best under pressure. If the U wants athletes & teams like that, they need to give the coaches the green light to go out & recruit them & give them what's needed to keep them four years. Not cheap! Even in amateur sports, generous support helps. The only ' greatness' team of this sort at the U I recall was the women's hockey squad of a few years ago, who had great all around talent up & down the roster on the ice plus an all-world goalie from Finland. That team went 41-0 & won a nat'l title.
 
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Gophers_4life

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It's been the same story for a few years now; these players don't fight and roll over on a regular basis. And it appears Hugh has done very little to address it. This group has consistently mailed in long stretches of matches every year since 2020 and nothing is changing. Just the way this group is: They don't compete hard. Just the way it is. Adjust your expectations accordingly because this is what they are.
Well if it's against Wisconsin at home in a rocking Pav, they'll fight.

If it's in Austin to with an insane high energy atmosphere against #1 Texas, they'll fight.


Short of that ...
 



Gophers_4life

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Does anyone have thoughts if there is anyone on the bench that could or should be given a chance?
Appreciate the question, but in fact is irrelevant.

Hugh doesn't bench his starters. They're his favorites and he rides with them to the bitter end.
 

Gophers_4life

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Booth seemed to struggle with solo middle blocks most of the night (she was good enough getting out to the pins). After a missed block (or two) in, I think, the third set. Hugh had a long side line discussion with her. I also recall Matt Houk having a discussion with her; but that was probably about offense. Booth continues to improve; but some nights the holes appear in her game. She's processing a lot in a short time.

Among, almost, everyone's pet peeves is that our middles struggle to put away overpasses. Husemann and Booth pretty much rely on the two handed dunk. Unfortunately, the Wildcats were just popping it back up. Landfair, on the other hand, slid over to obliterate some over passes.

The Wildcats were terrific at skimming the net on their serves. Anyway, the team that swept Pepperdine was the better club last night.
Solo middle blocks are almost impossible, if the opposing middle has any kind of ability to hit directional.

One of their middles in particular (the shorter one, though they both seemed short to me) was really good about making a hard turn to her left and cutting the ball back that way. Unless you specifically commit to taking that specific shot away, you'll never block that as a solo block. But then you leave all the rest of it open.
 

Gophers_4life

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I did see Arica Davis in for a few points in that fourth set, but that was all that I saw as I didn't really want to watch any more of that awful set. That's also an issue I noticed while looking at the bench like all these great Minnesota players just standing and watching. CC can make a difference when she's on her game, but SSS was probably the last MN player who could make a difference day in and day out. You look at players like Britt McLean or Jasmyn Martin, player highly ranked coming outta high school and they did provide a boost here and there. After they left the program they did have some success at their new schools. I doubt Hugh is gonna do a complete overhaul of the starters, probably expect to see different faces jump in and out against Iowa.
Our pins were ranked #1, #1, and #3 in their classes coming out of high school/club.

That makes people think we automatically have the most talent on the floor on (almost) any night.

But I don't think it's that simple.
 

MRJ

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Our pins were ranked #1, #1, and #3 in their classes coming out of high school/club.

That makes people think we automatically have the most talent on the floor on (almost) any night.

But I don't think it's that simple.
It certainly isn't for this team.
 



jham13

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You still have to play as a team, that is the problem along with not playing consistently at the high level that you're capable of throughout a match and making too many unforced errors. The team lacks discipline and focus.
 

ecoperson

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You all seem to expect that every match should go to the team with the best record or the best ranking or the highest ranked recruits. There are so many variables in any given match over the course of a season that the 'unexpected' can and will happen. That is why they play the matches.

It would be awfully boring if the expected happened every match. In that case, the media should just vote on the national champion at the beginning of the season- why waste a whole season actually playing matches? Imagine the time that could be saved!
 

Hrothgar

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I've tried participating in discussion on the Softball thread along with the Volleyball thread each season. I am slowly coming to the conclusion we are witnessing the IN AND OUT MINDSET THE ATHLETE in today's sports are dealing with.

I have had some thoughts on "Sports Pyschology" and was reminded in past threads that the student/athlete today can be the smartest in the room one day and totally the opposite the next day. Landfair to me is a perfect example of a player who plays like this....anybody watching these matches can see she will have brilliant to airhead moments on the court.

We look unstoppable on paper. However, I have concluded there are some starters on this team going through personal up and down moments affecting their play in a match. And there are some, unfortunately, who have peaked and will not improve much more. I'm afraid we will continue to witness this type of play from the starters on this Gopher team. Sure hope I am wrong post season.
After 40 years of teaching undergraduates in the classroom, I can assure you that this is typical undergraduate behavior, surely always has been, and not confined to student athletes. What we see in college sports is replicated in classrooms everyday, brilliant insights mixed with lapses. On really good teams, teammates are able to cover for teammates' lapses. If the Gophers aren't good at that this year, maybe they lack maturity from senior players? Is that possible?
 

rowdaboat

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You all seem to expect that every match should go to the team with the best record or the best ranking or the highest ranked recruits. There are so many variables in any given match over the course of a season that the 'unexpected' can and will happen. That is why they play the matches.

It would be awfully boring if the expected happened every match. In that case, the media should just vote on the national champion at the beginning of the season- why waste a whole season actually playing matches? Imagine the time that could be saved!
They should beat NW 100 times out of 100
 

MRJ

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You all seem to expect that every match should go to the team with the best record or the best ranking or the highest ranked recruits. There are so many variables in any given match over the course of a season that the 'unexpected' can and will happen. That is why they play the matches.

It would be awfully boring if the expected happened every match. In that case, the media should just vote on the national champion at the beginning of the season- why waste a whole season actually playing matches? Imagine the time that could be saved!
Every match? Not sure what you're talking about, but this team is now 6-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big 10. And these lifeless performances are not an exception to the rule. This team has established a pattern over about three years of mailing in extended periods of matches. This isn't just a one-off. And we get it, the other team is trying to win. No kidding.

But when you recruit supposedly top level recruiting classes year after year and consistently under perform on those credentials, it's a problem. If you want to be a super-shiny, happy fan where everything is just peachy no matter what, go right ahead. That's not at the core of any Power-five athletic program, especially one that routinely recruits at the level the U does in volleyball. Criticism of this group's performance (or lack thereof) is fully warranted after watching the pattern of the last three years.
 

ClassOf98Gopher

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But when you recruit supposedly top level recruiting classes year after year and consistently under perform on those credentials, it's a problem. If you want to be a super-shiny, happy fan where everything is just peachy no matter what, go right ahead. That's not at the core of any Power-five athletic program, especially one that routinely recruits at the level the U does in volleyball. Criticism of this group's performance (or lack thereof) is fully warranted after watching the pattern of the last three years.

Honestly, I think criticism of one’s team is fine. I only hope that the criticizer understands that “top-recruits” do not always become the “top college players” (that goes for all sports and all colleges, not just Minnesota). So therefore it is not some simple analysis for the fan to take always leading to the conclusion of the Gopher coach sucking.
 

4EverAGopher

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After 40 years of teaching undergraduates in the classroom, I can assure you that this is typical undergraduate behavior, surely always has been, and not confined to student athletes. What we see in college sports is replicated in classrooms everyday, brilliant insights mixed with lapses. On really good teams, teammates are able to cover for teammates' lapses. If the Gophers aren't good at that this year, maybe they lack maturity from senior players? Is that possible?
The athlete on this Gopher Volleyball team IMO representing maturity and performing up to her and our expectations is McWu, McKenna Wucherer, a Freshman.......followed closely by another Freshman, MB Carter Booth. Those that struggle IMO the most are the upperclassman.

I remember when my oldest son played football in HS. The A Squad, as they termed it back then, was always made up of Junior and Seniors. In his Junior year their team was so much fun to watch. It was like one unit playing together for a common goal. The next year as Seniors it was just the opposite.....when watching their games, it appeared to be a team with players who had never played the sport.

So far, unfortunately, we are seeing a lack of unity. In no disrespect to Hugh or the players, he really really really has his work cut out this year. As the HC, Hugh will need to constantly remind this team why they are on the court and the MUCH NEEDED URGENCY FOR TEAM UNITY AND TO FOCUS.....while trying to maintain a respect from his players.
 
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Hrothgar

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After 40 years of teaching undergraduates in the classroom, I can assure you that this is typical undergraduate behavior, surely always has been, and not confined to student athletes. What we see in college sports is replicated in classrooms everyday, brilliant insights mixed with lapses. On really good teams, teammates are able to cover for teammates' lapses. If the Gophers aren't good at that this year, maybe they lack maturity from senior players? Is that possible?
After watching Gophers football v. Purdue today, I hasten to add that it isn't always the players who lapse; the MN coaches in this game appeared hopelessly unprepared. The Purdue coach announced his game plan before the game. MN's coaches apparently had no counter plan. Who was most asleep, players or coaching staff?
 

WayOfTheGopher

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Not their usual dominant play that we are used to. Going to the fourth set, Gophers up 2-1.
 

Ignatius L Hoops

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They gave us an extra set in a 3-1 win over Iowa; but it was a fun final set even with the wobble toward the end.

For the match, Landfair rolled with 25 kills hitting .340. The real news was in the middle where Gros contributed 12 kills (second to Landfair) hitting .611. Gros also had 5 blocks. Booth posted 7 kills hitting .176 and a team high 9 blocks. Huseman did not see any action.
 

WayOfTheGopher

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They gave us an extra set in a 3-1 win over Iowa; but it was a fun final set even with the wobble toward the end.

For the match, Landfair rolled with 25 kills hitting .340. The real news was in the middle where Gros contributed 12 kills (second to Landfair) hitting .611. Gros also had 5 blocks. Booth posted 7 kills hitting .176 and a team high 9 blocks. Huseman did not see any action.
I hope she has a great game going back to East Lansing.
 



walleye

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Nice to have a win against Iowa. I hope they can build on it. I felt during the match that the Gophers have an extra gear that Iowa doesn't have. I was waiting for them to kick into a higher level and finish off Iowa in straight sets. But, they raised it a notch at the end of the sets.
 


let'sbeclear

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The NCAA volleyball selection committee's first top-10 ranking has the Gophers at #10. A couple of surprises: Wisconsin isn't listed and Oregon is #7. The Gophers have already played four of the nine teams ahead of them.

 

Ignatius L Hoops

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NCAA RPI Through games of 10/2/22


1 Texas
2 Louisville
3 Ohio State
4 Pittsburgh
5 Stanford
6 San Diego
7 UCF
8 Oregon
9 Nebraska
10 Minnesota

11 Rice
12 Wisconsin
13 Penn State
14 Michigan
15 Purdue

16 Arkansas

34 Northwestern

66 Illinois
80 Michigan State
94 Indiana
 




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